About the company and our broker network

…was incorported September 2004 and launched during February 2005.

Founded by two UK Retail insurance professionals (Kedric Rhodes & Malcolm Lee), a Lloyds broker (Gordon Coles) and a technologist (James Sharp), combining between them 165+ years of market experience, even in those days.

The time-served by the current Leadership Team is hardly any less, despite three of the original entrepreneurs having since retired and/or returned - or remained - as a non executive director.

The significant milestones for the business have been as follows: -

  • to become established with 10+ ARs by December 2005

  • to increase in numbers to 25+ brokers during 2007

  • to achieve a total of 100+ members

  • to develop new models and/or services over time

  • to be still-going-strong after 10+ years

  • to remain independent

  • to plan for and achieve longevity through succession

TEn has itself always grown steadily and organically; with a basic understanding that for small dependent businesses to prosper and survive, it requires a responsible ‘big brother’ to lend them a hand from time to time.

TEn Directors

Whilst the following analogy may not entirely work, the comparison of TEn to a French wine-growers co-operative, would not be entirely out of place.

“Je suis Fleurie!”

Nevertheless, as the tone of this site may suggest, TEn is fairly non-corporate, straight forward and retains its belief in the old fashioned values of character, integrity and professionalism.

According to our remaining founding director, James Sharp:

TEn first invented and then unleashed the AR network model on an unsuspecting GI insurance industry, realising that there was a desperate market need for a network that focused mainly - or at all - on the needs of start-up brokers.

It seemed perfectly clear to us that with an appropriate solution and right support, then the numbers of new brokers should only increase, meanwhile the total number of existing brokers would simply continue to decline.

And our analysis proved to be completely correct!

At least, in this respect, we got something absolutely nailed in our business planning, even if our first ever pay-packet didn’t quite occur for another 12 months beyond the date we had originally anticipated it.

Anyway, since that time, almost every other network has developed a different type of start-up broker proposition, or merely copied us exactly, in just about every minute detail.

Of course, we always are very flattered by the latter sort.

So, if we were to admit to the cliche of a Mission Statement, it would be that we exist to enable another generation of Insurance Entrepreneurs to build broking businesses, much as people did 40-50 years ago.

Our model may have needed a few tweaks over the years, to reflect the fact that the world constantly evolves; but, essentially, we strive to retain most of the fundamentals, in the way they have always been.

Our point has always been; that the world may change, but what motivates people to succeed has not… given half a chance.

And so it has all proved.

Today we have grown our membership to 105+ brokers.

Click here for the full video transcript About the Broker Network for Start- Up and Established Insurance Brokers.

the directors

James Sharp

After fiddling about with this and that during his 20s, James joined Broker software house MCS/Sectornet in 1986 as a salesman, from which position he progressed to become Sales Manager, Business Development Director and General Manager before his departure in 2003.

During his time at MCS, James was the originator of the market’s first ASP service in 1994 and the instigator of subsequent early ‘network centric’ services. Essentially, Cloud Computing, as we now know it.

James was one of the three founding exec-directors, together with Kedric Rhodes and Malcolm Lee. He is now the Managing Director of the TEn holding company.

Dawn Derbyshire Cert CII

Dawn joined Wilson’s in Cheshire during 1991, as a trainee insurance broker. She then quickly progressed to become an Area Manager for several branch offices.

From there, Dawn moved on to Holman’s, where she gained valuable experience of the London Market and of Account Managing hundreds of brokers. Dawn joined TEn in 2008, originally as the Regional Manager of our Manchester office.

Dawn was then elavated to the role of Broker Support Director and, finally, has become Managing Director of TEn Insurance Services Ltd.

John Rusby ACII

In 1973, John joined insurer, Provincial, as a trainee underwriter. By 1989 he had progressed to branch manager in North London, the City and, finally, in Reading.

Following the acquisition of Provincial by AXA,, John worked in a development role for Aascent Premium Finance and from there, joined TEn in 2009, to set-up and manage TEn Premium Finance.

Soon thereafter, John was invited to join the Board.

Robert Withers

Rob began his Insurance Accounting career at Sceptre Insurance Services in 1990, working originally as an Accounts Clerk, together with Kedric Rhodes and another TEn founder, Malcolm Lee.

He remained at Sceptre for fifteen years, including the period after the Country Mutual takeover and until the idea for TEn was born.

Rob decided to take a chance and work for TEn, becoming its first even employee and salary recipient in September 2005. Joining as the Accounts/Office Manager, he progressed to become Finance Manager and, then, Finance Director.

Paul Sykes

As far as Insurance is concerned, Paul worked initially for Broker, Brown Shipley, circa 1990. He then moved to join broker software house, MCS/Sectornet, in 1993. At MCS, he became a Trainer of its application software.

From there, he was promoted to the role of Training & Support Manager, which he remained until his move to TEn - in a similar capacity - during 2012.

Paul has subsequently been appointed IT Director at TEn.

Gordon Coles (non-executive chairman)

Gordon has 50+ years’ experience of the London Market, many of them at Senior Broker or Director level with a variety of Lloyds brokers, including Houlders, Heath’s and AON. He is widely known, loved and respected.

Gordon is a Freeman of The City of London and, once-upon-a-time, was even voted Best Dressed Man in Lloyds. He was also our first non-exec director and an original investor in the business.

Barbara Bradshaw (non-executive director)

In her former career, Barbara had a long-standing involvement with the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) and, ultimately, succeeded to the role of Chief Executive; prior to the merger of the institute with BIBA.

Barbara is a friend and champion of the smaller independent broker and has dedicated herself to the cause for over 30 years. She is often invited onto the panel of judges for the UK Brokers Awards.

Kedric Rhodes ACII (non-executive director)

Kedric embarked upon his career as an insurance broker in West London, during the 1960s; establishing his own business, Sceptre Insurance Services, by 1971.

Sceptre grew to employ 15+ staff - in two locations - over the following three decades and was eventually acquired by NFU (Country Mutual) in 2000.

Kedric was the original Managing Director of TEn, retiring to Spain at the end of 2009. In 2018, he returned as a non-exec. He was also a director of the IIB for years until it merged with BIBA and remains a non-exec director of Broker Direct.